Cooking for Show: The Easiest Fruit Tarts

Accidental Locavore Peach and Apricot TartsMen…! Close to the last minute, the Accidental Locavore’s husband said we were expected to bring dessert for thirty-six to a Saturday party. I can generally whip up respectable desserts for dinner guests, but in no way do desserts count as one of my strengths as a cook. So, what to make? Cookies — too ordinary. Peach cobbler? Good, but it had to travel and wouldn’t be warm when we got there, losing some, if not most, of its appeal.

Accidental Locavore Tart AssemblyBon Appetite had a recipe for a plum tart made with puff pastry that looked easy enough to do at the last minute (without crashing and burning), and there were three packages of puff pastry in the freezer from an earlier consulting gig — two regular and one chocolate. The chocolate one would get either raspberries or cherries and the others would get peaches and apricots. Here’s the basic recipe, which makes 8 tarts:

  • 1 14 oz. package puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 pound fruit
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 425°. Peel the fruit and slice into 1/2″ slices. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the puff pastry into 4″ squares and prick all over with a fork. Place the fruit on the pastry and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Chocolate Cherry TartsMy verdict: Definitely keeping puff pastry on hand. This was super easy and the hit of the party! I made three different combinations. Chocolate puff pastry with cherries, pitted and sliced in half with regular sugar. Regular puff pastry with peaches or apricots and light brown sugar. I peeled the apricots and peaches (cut a shallow x in the bottom of them and drop in a pot of simmering water for 30 seconds for easy peeling), but you probably don’t need to. My favorite (and Frank’s) was the apricot and we thought it was better looking than the cherry. I thought of making some caramel and chocolate sauce and drizzling it on top, but the summer fruit was great and didn’t need it (keep it simple, stupid). What combination would you come up with?



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